Le Clos calls for rival Sun to be stripped of Rio gold

Chad le Clos and Sun Yang (Getty Images)
Chad le Clos and Sun Yang (Getty Images)

Star South African swimmer Chad le Clos believes it's unjust for Sun Yang to still have his Olympic medals after the Chinese freestyler was recently banned for eight years.

READ | Le Clos takes salary cut to help struggling swimmers

Sun was found guilty and banned after he allegedly refused to provide urine samples to WADA officials and smashed blood samples with a hammer in September 2018.

The Chinese swimmer has reportedly lodged an appeal against his ban with the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

This isn't the first time he's been in hot water after being banned in 2014 for three months by the Chinese Swimming Association for doping.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Le Clos took silver in the men's 200m freestyle, touching the wall 0.55 seconds behind Sun.

Le Clos, who revealed to Sport24 on Thursday that he did not know Sun personally, said that it's unjust to have a guilty man as a Olympic champion.

"I have no problem with Sun Yang as a man, but he did fail two drug tests in 2014 before the 2016 Olympic Games and he got caught smashing vials of blood," said the 28-year-old in a Zoom interview.

Le Clos revealed that even during lockdown, athletes are expected to submit their location for an hour in order for drug testers to visit him.

"This isn't something that's unexpected," said Le Clos, who is currently on the mend after undergoing surgery.

"If I'm an innocent man, I have nothing to hide, you can do anything you want with my blood, but he smashed his with a hammer, which shows he's a guilty man."

Le Clos insisted that it wasn't about receiving the gold medal for his trophy room, it was more about the significance of the achievement.

"For me, it's not about the gold medal, I'm not so obsessed about the gold medal, I haven't really thought about it, it's not something that's on my mind all the time," he said.

"I just want my record to say two Olympic gold medals and two silvers not one gold and three silvers. I feel like I deserve that on my record ... like Caster (Semenya) she got her gold medal from London, I feel like I should get the same as she got.

"I just feel like it's injustice. If you do something wrong or cheat in this case and you get an eight-year ban, you need to get your medals and records taken away."

Whether Sun is indeed stripped of his victory and Le Clos is upgraded to the gold medal position remains to be seen. Le Clos is already South Africa's most decorated Olympian of all time with his current tally of one gold and three silver medals.

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